Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
A Harvard Square fixture for more than 50 years, Dickson Brothers equips crafty carpenters and handy homeowners with home-improvement supplies to help execute DIY restorations. Create family-room frescoes with California and Pratt & Lambert paints ($36.99/gallon), using tidy tools such as brooms ($5.69), irons ($17.99), and vacuums ($69.99) as inspiration. Illuminate lavish living spaces with lava lamps ($17.99) while brand-new teakettles ($20.99) warm up human interiors.
The fully licensed and insured professionals at J&J Building and Remodeling tackle each job with equal parts skill and creativity. Whether it’s a small remodeling job, such as installing a bathroom fixture, hanging a TV, or uninstalling a houseguest, or a large-scale project, such as remodeling a kitchen or a deck, their goal isn't just to make a site look good––it's to make sure its completed as soundly and cost-effectively as possible. To this end, owner Jeffery Etter oversees all projects––including commercial builds for Old Navy and Kohl's––to make sure the work is being completed to the company’s high standards. Customers can rest even easier knowing Jeff and his crew are backed by 15 years of remodeling experience, as well as a Homeowner Guarantee Fund that––though they've never had reason to use it––gives customers access to federal funds to finish any project in the unlikely event that J&J Building and Remodeling cannot complete it.
Family-owned Flood Square Hardware offers a plethora of home-improving products and helpful services to ease minds and shorten lengthy to-do lists. Clear pipes of rent-dodging hairballs with Liquid-Plumr (one quart for $4.99), or grime-fight on the go with a wheeled trash barrel ($19.99). For giving walls fresh attire, Flood Square Hardware stocks Benjamin Moore paints. Handy rentals such as the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner provide ease of mind and peace of plush ($26.99 for 24 hours), scrubbing away dirt, dust, and embarrassingly cheap wine stains. Or opt for simple services such as a double-sided key copy ($2.85) to self-actualize lonely hide-a-keys. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable enough to help you plan out any project and find anything in the store, even if it’s lost hope.
1994 was a big year for music: Outkast, Weezer, the Fugees, and Oasis released their first albums and Boomer Boston installed its first audio equipment. And like many of the bands it shares its birth year with, Boomer Boston's gone on to bigger and better things. Now, in addition to installing car stereos, the techs at Boomer also integrate iPhones, iPods, and HD and satellite radios into vehicles. And, they also install remote starters and GPS systems, and can equip cars with back-up cameras so drivers can really appreciate the beauty of their parallel-parking jobs.